Browsing All Posts filed under »Music: Hindi Cinema«

Reviewing (and re-viewing) Rahman

November 2, 2017


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Thoughts on the ‘2.0’ soundtrack and its composer, who keeps going on and on and on. What makes AR Rahman tick? That’s the question I had while listening to the composer’s soundtrack for Shankar’s 2.0. This isn’t about how he manages to keep making music, 25 […]

A brief chat with AR Rahman…

March 14, 2017


This was done when AR Rahman was in town to release the music of ‘Lake of Fire’. We didn’t get much time with him, but we did get to tour his school. My favourite part of this experience is also least “professional” aspect. We barely got any time to set up, and I used a lapel […]

The A.R. Rahman fan club

March 5, 2017


livemint spoke to me about 25 years of Rahman, and a small portion of that chat has been reproduced in their latest weekend issue. Link:


July 2, 2016


A bit of a rant about how we keep dusting off the same set of “greatest hits” every time we want to remember a composer. It was RD Burman’s 77th birthday last Monday. Google honoured the composer with a doodle. Behind an illustration of RD that made him look like a round-faced schoolboy, there were […]

Ode to a nightingale

April 9, 2016


Reflections on the peerless P Susheela, who’s found her way into the record books. When I learnt that P Susheela had found her way into the Guinness Book of World Records and the Asia Book of Records for singing the most number of songs in Indian languages, there were two reactions. The first, a smile – […]

A few favourite things

March 12, 2016


Remembering the list song, 25 years after ‘Paththar Ke Phool’ gave us ‘Kabhi tu Chhalia lagta hai’. Some part of me dies every time a film from my school or college days celebrates a major anniversary – I’m talking about you, Paththar Ke Phool, now 25 years old – but this isn’t a how-time-flies- post. […]

Emotion capture

November 14, 2015


A quick trip through the nine moods – nava rasas – of the Indian film song. Which song would you pick as a depiction of Śṛungāram (Love)? There are hundreds. Abhi na jaao chhod kar, for instance. He’s saying don’t leave me yet, the heart hasn’t had its fill of you. She protests. It’s late. […]

A lover, a model and a nose

August 1, 2015


Remembering ‘jhankaar beats,’ the nineties, and ‘Aashiqui,’ which turned 25 this July. If you were the cassette-buying type in 1990, you probably remember this image. A white background with horizontal, equidistant lines – like a page from a ruled notebook. A boy and a girl in what appears to be an embrace – only, we […]

Any body cannot dance

July 11, 2015


With the dance-based ‘ABCD-2’ vaulting over the Rs. 100 crore barrier, a reflection on choreography in Hindi films down the ages. Had I been the kind who rated films, I’d have given Any Body Can Dance 2 (aka ABCD 2) two-and-a-half shrugs – but that’s not surprising. For one, this isn’t a film meant for […]

Women and song

February 4, 2015


So there’s a new Gautham Menon movie out this week. I look forward to his films, for two reasons mainly. One, to see the way the heroine has been shaped. I know. This is borderline-blasphemy considering it’s essentially an Ajith movie and all, but even in Menon’s big-star outings like Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu – the kind […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Notes from a film-music fan”

March 28, 2014


A collection of thoughts on discovering Binaca Geetmala listings on the web. Imagine spending an afternoon falling through the Internet rabbit hole and finding, of all things, lists of songs that featured on Binaca Geetmala – from 1970 to 1980. Why just these years? Did the people who made these Wiki-pages not have the time to put […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “On the beaten path”

February 14, 2014


AR Rahman’s songs for “Highway” aren’t exactly groundbreaking – and no, that’s not an unjustified expectation when it comes to this composer. After a few listens to AR Rahman’s soundtrack for Highway, I must say I’m not terribly impressed. Let’s begin with Heera, which sounds vaguely like something Rahman used to do long ago – say, Putham […]

The Rahman Effect

October 8, 2011


After nearly 20 years in the business, is the Mozart of Madras likely to be concerned by the reactions to ‘SuperHeavy’ and ‘Rockstar’? We think not.

The Biscuit Shakers

July 29, 2011


English-speaking Hindi filmmakers are mangling the film song beyond recognition – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Songs of the Soul

November 6, 2010


Long, meandering thoughts inspired by the long, meandering melody lines in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s remarkably expressive score for ‘Guzaarish,’ his latest ode to the opera.

Between Reviews: Head Games

May 1, 2010


HEAD GAMES AR Rahman packs a lot of his heady signatures into the soundtrack for Mani Ratnam’s new film, but where’s the appeal to the heart? MAY 2, 2010 – THERE’S MUSIC OF THE HEAD and there’s music of the heart, and our older composers were nimble acrobats who tiptoed blithely along the tightrope-median, secure […]

Music Review: Cheeni Kum

May 15, 2007


  CHEENI KUM Ilayaraja marries his new sound to his old tunes in a charming trifle of a soundtrack. MAY 20, 2007 – LISTENING TO US Ilayaraja fans whining about his of-late overdependence on artificial sound – synth drums, synth flutes, synth everything – you’d think we’d like nothing better than to have the maestro […]

Music Review: Guru

November 26, 2006


  GURU NOV 26, 2006 – IF SOMEONE WERE TO MAKE A MOVIE about me listening to a new album by AR Rahman, the visuals would be like those in the old cartoons where there’s this man with an angel fluttering above him on one side and the devil on the other, each alternately whispering […]

Music Review: Mangal Pandey

July 24, 2005


MANGAL PANDEY AR Rahman’s terrific soundtrack for a film set in the British Raj unites a varied bunch of musical influences. JULY 24, 2005 – HINDI FILM SONGS ARE USUALLY STRUCTURED around generic emotions, so when you pick up an album, you expect a love song, a sad song, a happy-family song, a heroine-and-friends-teasing-the-hero song, […]